Posted By thecook on March 21st, 2015
I remember reading a mail from my foodie friend Lisa, where she pointed out that she never felt inclined to experiment with celery sticks, lettuce leaves or any other guilt-free ingredients.
In a bid to find the best granola bar, perfect for school lunch boxes and as an accompaniment to a panna cotta for brunch, I must have tried 15 different recipes, something I would have never done with celery or apples.
As far as granola goes, nothing compares in taste and health to Fresh Earth’s sugar free, wheat-free cacao granola http://www.freshearth.co.za/store/p-3439-fresh-earth-raw-cacao-granola-350g.aspx, which is more of a decadent snack than a granola.
I substituted this dehydrated granola with the homemade granola in the Hummingbird Bakery’s no- bake peanut butter granola bars, and although both the original and cheat recipe were good, they were not great and I kept on experimenting.
Once I decided that these granola bars were finicky, very high in sugar and a general schlepp I decided that I needed to change course.
A Sweet Paul recipe gave me a new idea and direction and after another 5 experiments I found the perfect recipe.
It literally takes 3 minutes to make, another 15 to bake and my panel of testers awarded them second place (to Ottolengh’si granola bars).
Considering the difference in time and effort for these recipes (and with my COOK customers in mind) my granola rounds came out tops.
I used Woolworth’s granola in my recipe as it’s the healthiest of the unhealthy granolas but if you have a good sugar-free granola recipe or product , you should be able to convert it into these biscuits.
GRANOLA “ROUNDS” (12)
1 cup Woolworth’s vanilla and mixed seeds granola
1⁄3 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon melted butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
• Combine and mix all ingredients and divide among a 12-hole silicone muffin tray
• Flatten with the lid of a spray n cook can, a bottle of vinegar or highball glass
• Bake at 170°C for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown
• Allow to cool in the trays completely before removing. Keep in an airtight container for 2 days.
COOK’S Notes: Unfortunately only a silicone tray works.
Posted By thecook on March 15th, 2015
A princess party (for my daughter and niece) made easy by In Good Company’s extensive pretty princess party range of table décor, crowns, party bags and games. We added their range of “make your own” mardi gras golden crowns and masks (with feathers and bling) as a craft activity and my brother-in-law provided the adults with homemade bread and short rib in a sticky Asian and star anise sauce. I found a princess Sophia piñata at Baking Bitz (Carrera shopping centre) and the kids were treated to homemade pizza’s from our pizza oven, made by Ricky, owner of Celestino’s in Dainfern.
Posted By thecook on March 11th, 2015
Both my daughter and niece are tenacious little cooks and bakers. If they find me in the studio, preparing for COOK they drag their chairs towards the counter, call for their aprons, and harass me until I offer up something to whisk or stir.
Fortunately, I have started to collect easy- to- make- kids recipes, with just enough sugar to keep them silent. This recipe is a retro classic, which requires no baking, allows for constant tasting ( a vital element!) and allows me to continue with my preparation in peace.
Popping Princess Honey Bubbles (24)
4 cups of Rice Krispies
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup castor sugar
2 tablespoons honey
• Melt the butter, honey and sugar
• Combine with remaining ingredients
• Spoon into cupcake wrappers and refrigerate for 15 minutes
Princess bags and plates http://www.ingoodcompany.co.za/
Posted By thecook on February 18th, 2015
I have made granola and granola bars almost every day for the past month for my upcoming Easter course and so while reading the latest addition of the Food and Home, I add all the ingredients required for this chocolate granola.
Fresh Earth, in my opinion makes the ultimate sugar free chocolate granola but for those not wanting to travel all the way to Emmarentia here is a low sugar alternative, which is rather unusual, decadent and makes a gorgeous Easter gift.
Food and Home’s chocolate granola
Posted By thecook on February 8th, 2015
one of 3 new retro-chic Parker pens and a recipe file for your course notes.
Select either Pink, Coral or Grey-Green from the gorgeous new retro-chic range and both gifts will be couriered to 3 lucky people in time for Valentine’s day.
Follow Facebook.com/ParkerPenSA (see link below) , find the answer to the following question and post it on their page with “Cook and the year”
IN WHAT YEAR DID JOTTER ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF NASA ENGINEERS?
Posted By thecook on January 29th, 2015
Layer upon layers is the new style of wrapping and scrappers will love this method of using up scraps of papers, old tags, doily’s and embellishments. I say “scrappers” because non-scrappers will find these techniques challenging.
I also like to print free tags, paper and pictures, which can be sourced on Pinterest ( I have a printable page here http://www.pinterest.com/Cookstudio/printables-fonts-downloads/) and use paper place-mats –I used a pack of vintage paper place-mats I bought at Kamers vol geskenke market in Irene. Washi tape, old measuring tapes, bits of material and my new embellishment machine for the names add texture and originality.
White paper can be sourced from Macaroon in Greenside, white bags from Party/Flower spot in Woodmead while In Good Company have a range of gift wrapping packs called Petite Parcel sets. I used the little bags as gift tag holders and simply glued them to the wrapping.
Customers can view these wrapped gifts on the new EASTER BRUNCH course as they form part of the craft section.
Posted By thecook on January 9th, 2015
Surprisingly the second most popular dish from my Glimmer with Gold course-The Lindt trifles being the first- is this little dressing. Numerous friends cheekily popped past my house in December to pick up leftovers or begged me to make a bottle, as due to the frequent making of the dressing, I could whip one up in 5 minutes. It was used as dressings for their Christmas occasions, on chicken wraps, and even as a dip for slices of warm Ciabatta.
The tomato paste adds a bold tomato flavour without the added acidity from only sundried tomatoes, ginger and orange zest give a zing and fresh herbs round it off to make it a really show-off dressing for green salads and roasted vegetables.
SUNDRIED TOMATO DRESSING
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
5 marinated Woolworth’s sundried tomato quarters
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Falk/Maldon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar or 3 tablespoons honey/ Agave
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (3 if you are using Woolies already grated in a tub)
Handful of Italian parsley (about ½ cup of leaves or more if you like)
Handful of mint
125 ml -180ml (1/2 cup to 3 x ¼ cups) extra virgin olive oil
• Blend all ingredients except oil and then add the oil slowly until creamy and combined
This dressing can be refrigerated for a week, but it tends to thicken so just thin it out with some water or bring back to room temperature.
Posted By thecook on December 22nd, 2014
There is no better sauce for a braaied sirloin or rump steak than this Chimichurri sauce. I first discovered Chimichurri in Kitchenboy’s Provocative Cuisine and while this simple version is made with dried herbs it is still good enough to serve alongside strips of meat.